Well, I'll hand it to them. I do feel punished. I don't know what I was being punished for but it was clearly something really bad and I've very, very sorry.
When I watch any action movie I go in knowing it's not going to be Gone With The Wind or, well, anything really amazingly good. I'm not a huge fan of the genre but I can appreciate it, even like it. It's something I do, now and then, when I just want to shut my brain off for a few hours and watch some mindless shit involving a lot of ridiculous scenarios in which many guns are fired and dead evil henchmen litter the ground like confetti at a parade. Is that so wrong?
Last night I really just wanted to watch something along those lines so I borrowed my brother's copy of Punisher: War Zone. To be honest, Punisher was never one of my favourite comic book characters but I liked them enough to have seen and enjoyed the first movie. Also, Ray Stevenson is the new Frank Castle. Have I mentioned my love of Ray Stevenson? Because he's awesomely awesome and he was one of the very big reasons I love Rome as much as I do.
I was hoping for something good.
I was disappointed. Actually that's not even a strong enough word but I'll go with it for now.
Ray was, as I expected, the best part of the movie. I was having a bit of trouble picturing him as an action hero, especially Frank Castle but he managed to pull it off nicely.
And there ends anything good I have to say about the movie.
Wait, that's not true. Wayne Knight was pretty awesome in that "hey, I'm Wayne Knight" kind of way.
There were just so many things about the movie that were bad, wrong, troubling or down-right laughable. The biggest, most glaring problem were the accents. I cringed every time 90% of the actors opened their mouths. They all went for the most over the top, stereo-typical New York drawl with limited and varied success. (By the way - Thanks, Ray, for just going with a general American accent. It worked and I appreciated it. Really.)
Dominic West was absolutely the worst offender. It was so bad I was actually having trouble even paying attention to what he was saying. Would it really have been that fucking hard to find an american actor to play Jigsaw if that was what they wanted? I mean, the US seems to be positively infested with American actors and they couldn't find a single one? Although, to be fair, Doug Hutchinson wasn't any better. He comes in at #2 in the list of "unbelievably bad accents" and he's from Delaware. (Also on the list is the mafia boss at the beginning of the film, who's name I didn't bother committing to memory who was speaking in what can only be described as a bad Godfather impression meets The Simpson's Luigi Risotto voice.)
The acting was equally as bad going from wooden to (Adam West) Batman Villain-esque over the top and back again at alarming speed. All of which was bumped up a notch by how rushed everything felt. The whole movie felt like a speeding car with no breaks.
The creation of Jigsaw being the best example. He went from being shredded in some kind of factory that's never really explained to being up and walking around half a scene later. He even gets to do a half-assed, wannabe Joker/plastic surgeon reveal scene before he spends most of the movie being completely unfazed by his transformation and about 2 seconds being all "oh I'm so damn ugly! boo-hoo!" (Again, to be fair, the make-up was painfully bad. I would have cried too.)
Really, I could spend all day picking the film apart (I could spend an hour just on "Looney Bin" Jim) but I just haven't got the time to devote to that much garbage. Between the painfully bad acting, the shitty accents, the unexplained... well, everything, the plot holes, the cliches, the make-up, the special effects, the costumes (what the FUCK was Jigsaw wearing in that last 1/4 of the movie? Seriously. What. The. Fuck.) and the sound effects (the squishy/splashy/splat sounds that every single injury made went from stupid to ridiculous to annoying to hysterical. It was like something out of a WB cartoon) it was just bad.
I did actually make it through the entire movie but I had, more than once, considered giving up and going to bed which says more about it than anything.
Finally, let me just say this - Ray, I love you. Really I do. This in no way reflects on how awesome I think you are.
But sweet titty fucking Christ, this movie was fucking awful.
*edit: When casting mafia muscle men, do you think it's possible that they could have found anyone LESS intimidating than Keram Malicki-Sanchez? Really? Because he's about as intimidating as a potato.